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Donald Edwards

Emeritus, Regents Professor    Faculty    , ,
Education

B.S. Electrical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970
Ph.D. Neurobiology Yale University 1976

Specializations

Neuroethology
Computational neuroscience

Biography

Donald H. Edwards was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Arlington, Virginia. He studied Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he became interested in neurophysiology and brain function. He did a senior thesis with R.D. Hall correlating eyelid EMGs with eye-reflectance as part of a project on learning and memory. At Yale, his Ph.D. thesis under T.H. Goldsmith concerned retinal processes in both invertebrates and vertebrates. Edwards then moved to California for two postdocs studying the nervous system and behavior of crayfish. The first was at Stanford University under D. Kennedy, where he studied fixed action patterns in crayfish that are released by photostimulation of extraretinal photoreceptors. The second was at University of California at Davis under B. Mulloney, where he used both electrophysiological and computational techniques to study neuronal integration in identified motor neurons. In 1981, he moved to Georgia State University where, as an Assistant Professor of Biology, he was the first neurobiologist on the faculty. Edwards’ research focus has remained largely on the function of neural circuits and the mechanisms that underlie behavior, using crayfish as a model animal. He has used experimental and computational methods to study circuits that mediate escape, postural control, locomotion, and control of the stomach and hindgut. He has also studied decision-making, aggression, social status, serotonergic systems, neurogenesis and the effect of growth on the integrative properties of neurons. More recently, he has focused on the role of sensory feedback in motor control. Support for his research has come from Georgia State University, the NSF and the NIH. In 1992, he started the Computational Neuroscience Program at NSF as its first program director. From 2004-2008 he was the founding Director of the Brains & Behavior Area of Focus at Georgia State University.

Publications

Representative Publications:

Chung, B., Bacqué-Cazenave, J., Cofer, D.W., Cattaert, D. and Edwards, D.H. (2015) The effect of sensory feedback on crayfish posture and locomotion: I. Experimental analysis of closing the loop. J. Neurophysiol. Mar 15;113(6):1763-71. doi: 10.1152/jn.00248.2014. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

62. Bacqué-Cazenave, J., Chung, B., Cofer, D.W., Cattaert, D. and Edwards, D.H. (2015) The effect of sensory feedback on crayfish posture and locomotion. II. Neuromechanical simulation of closing the loop. J. Neurophysiol. Mar. 15, 113(6): 1763-71. doi: 10.1152/jn.00870.2014. Epub 2014 Dec 30.

Issa, F.A., Drummond, J., Cattaert, D., and Edwards, D.H. (2012) Neural circuit reconfiguration by social status. J. Neurosci. 30: 5638-5645.

Cofer, D., Cymbalyuk, G., Reid, J. Zhu, Y., Heitler, W.J., and Edwards, D.H. (2010) AnimatLab: A 3-D graphics environment for neuromechanical simulations. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 187(2): 280-288.

Yeh, S.-R., Fricke, R.A. and Edwards, D.H. (1996) The effect of social experience on serotonergic modulation of the escape circuit of crayfish. Science 271: 366-369.

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